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Great Forest Park Balloon Race canceled, but organizers are working on 'tribute flights'

Hot air balloons will take to the skies in September to honor essential workers, educators health care workers and those "standing up for change"
Credit: 5 On Your Side
Up, up and away! The winds caused a short delay for this year’s Great Forest Park Balloon Race, but luckily they calmed down enough for most of the balloons to launch! Did you take a picture of the balloons floating over St. Louis?

ST. LOUIS — The Great Forest Park Balloon Race has been canceled, but there will still be a way for people to see balloons fly over St. Louis in September.

Organizers are working on tribute flights that will honor "essential workers, educators, healthcare heroes and those standing up for change," according to a press release from the organization. The theme for the event is Lift Up St. Louis and it will take place Sept. 17-20.

"During the past several months of planning, along with exhaustive research on how to host this free, family event safely during a pandemic, our team held out hope to launch as planned this September,” Jessica Stegen, director of communications and event production for The Great Forest Park Balloon Race said in a press release. “Unfortunately, due to the continued uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, there are many variables that are out of our control, potentially impacting the health and welfare of our attendees."

More details of the event, including where and when people can see the tribute flights, will be released on The Great Forest Park Balloon Race's social media pages and website in the coming weeks.

The festival will return to its home at Central Fields in Forest Park in September 2021, the release said. 

The race has been a St. Louis tradition since 1973 and is the second oldest balloon race in the United States, the release said.

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